Cananda makes its national anthem gender neutral by changing two words in it. Senators passed legislation that will allow for changing the second line of the anthem from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command”. Canada’s national anthem gender neutral, this has captured global headlines.
Canada changes two words to make national anthem gender neutral
This will bring an end to a decades-long push to ensure the English language version reflects all Canadians.
The change has been more than three decades in the discussion. Canadian senator Frances Lankin who was a campaigner of this alteration, said of this, “This may be small – it’s about two words – but it’s huge in terms of one of our major national symbols. It’s inclusivity and I’m proud.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the move “another positive step towards gender equality”, while feminist author Margaret Atwood, who has been pressing for this since the 1980s, tweeted her thanks to lawmakers.
The next step is apparently a formality. It needs only the governor general’s signature to become law, but a date for the same has not yet been set.
As per reports there have been several attempts in recent decades to further amend the lyrics of the song – which only officially became Canada’s anthem in 1980 – but they all failed largely due to the entrenched opposition of Conservative lawmakers. Some say the original version was gender neutral.
FYI: The original lyric to the 1908 version of “O Canada” was “Thou dost in us command.” Was changed to “All Thy Sons” in 1914. So for you traditionalists, Robert Stanley Weir’s original lyric was, in fact, gender-neutral. pic.twitter.com/AHq6CUOpQw
— David Akin 🇨🇦 (@davidakin) February 1, 2018
Surprise shouldn’t be that lyrics have changed, but that they didn’t change earlier, says Cheryl Girard in an article for CBC.